Put your performances to the test, without practicing a leadership opposed to any forms of excellence.
Have you watched the fourth sequel of “Indiana Jones”? It is an exceptional movie, which I confidently recommend you. A sentence from the movie particularly caught my attention. At a certain point, Indiana Jones and his son accidentally hit a library with their bike and turn over.
Before getting back on the bike and keep driving, a student recognizes Indiana (who was his favorite teacher) and asks him something about a certain cultural model of Hardgrove.
Because he had no time to lose, Indiana Jones briefly replies to the student concerned with school:
- Let Hardgrove be… To become a good archaeologist, you must exit the library!
Leadership: Do you shrink into a cocoon?
Everything that you can ignore by knowledge is logically and naturally opposed to quality leadership. Knowledge provides you an important dose of imagination, gives you a performance boost, freedom of thought but, at the same time, it can also restrict your freedom of movement and your initiatives. If knowledge is not used at full capacity – then it is equally unacceptable in leadership as a laptop without a keyboard for an IT operator.
This type of knowledge – inactive, more for design – can lead to a falsification of reality, to a limitation of your practical abilities, which you are not fully aware of or you did not test them. And if you are proud of that static knowledge, just as a martial arts beginner claims to be admired because he educates his mind and will, but who is always more subjective in terms of performance – you might wake up without a support, your success may turn into a long line of deception.
Knowledge without a moral basis and a practical attitude leads to a formal leadership, so to speak (in any form, from concrete to abstract, from something tangible to something apparent); eventually, it is a matter of responsibility, as it appears as an unrealistic, mediocre leadership, opposed to any form of excellence.
Having a lot of knowledge without properly using it in practice is like shrinking into a cocoon. Only your head remains outside. Your feet, hand and heart are buried, unusable. With eyes closed, you throw yourself into hibernation – a kind of suspended life form, which you know it could extend indefinitely.
Do you have the courage to evaluate your level of excellence, putting in practice your knowledge? Or do you suspend your leadership from the basic function that it needs to fulfill?
Theory is assimilated only by experience
I suggest you to follow Indiana Jones’ advice: take action, do not waste any more time poring over books. You will never be able to become a true leader, you will never manage to accomplish great deeds, worthy of people’s attention and admiration, if you are not willing to spend a lot of your time on the field. You can learn many things and can assimilate a lot of knowledge from books – but you can get results only by putting them into practice.
Think of any famous achievement accomplished by a single individual or a group of individuals. For example, the pyramid of Cheops. You do not need to research too much to realize that it took more than solid technical knowledge to build this monument for eternity. It was necessary to implement theoretical knowledge, carefully designed plans by experts. Besides, no valuable work would have ever been made if artists had not confined to the acquisition of knowledge.
Putting knowledge into practice gives you the best opportunity to turn leadership into a masterpiece, a priceless treasure. But the more ambitious your goals are, the more sustained practice will be needed. Therefore, get involved confidently in the active and essential role that you have in supporting the leadership you practice, if you really want it to evolve. You will manage to achieve your goals only if you are willing to get involved more diligently in the practical work in the field.
Do you dare to leave the comfort zone?
Napoleon Bonaparte, who spent a long time on the battlefield, said: “It is not enough to know people from the books to study them; you have to live with them.”
Napoleon’s success was largely due to the implementation of his knowledge acquired and valuable ideas obtained from the books of his time. But studying the books meant for him only the starting point for developing leadership abilities and skills. Because, in order to win a battle, he had to leave the comfort-zone and fight many times in the first line, with the Infantry.
Napoleon could never have won a battle and become a military genius if he had limited himself only to… theory.
Put your performances to the test, without practicing an unrealistic leadership, opposed to any forms of excellence.